Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 54, Marshall’s saves

The Minnesota Twins were just 54 days away from opening day in Baltimore on February 4th. As we near that day, we will tap into Twins history related to each number!

The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectations after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card. We will have bring out numbers from team history that represent the number of days until opening day on March 29th in Baltimore.

He was only with the Twins for 3 seasons, and they really were his last hurrah after a season marred by injury. Today, we remember the 54 saves that unique pitcher (and now doctor) Mike Marshall tallied in his 3 seasons with the Twins from 1978-1980.

Marshall’s Twins career

Marshall came to the Twins after a season where he threw just 41 2/3 innings. For the six years prior to 1977, Marshall had thrown an average of 137 innings, every single inning thrown in relief.

Marshall signed a one-year deal initially with the Twins, before he then signed a 3-year deal in 1979. Overall, Marshall made over $1 million from the Minnesota Twins over his three seasons.

He threw to a 2.45 ERA in 1978, throwing in 54 games and tossing 99 innings, saving 21 games, with a 1.18 WHIP and a 37/56 BB/K ratio. He got his new contract for 1979, and he was used heavily, setting team marks that still stand in games pitched (90) and games finished (84). Only two pitchers in Twins history have thrown more relief innings in a season than the 140 2/3 innings he threw in relief in 1979 (2 innings were thrown in a start of his 142 2/3 inning total).

Marshall led the American League in saves in 1979 with 32 saves. However, the heavy use in 1979 took a toll on him, and in 1980, the Twins released Marshall in June after he had thrown 32 1/3 innings with a 6.12 ERA and 1.67 WHIP.

Marshall would make 20 appearances with the Mets in 1981, but he wasn’t quite the same, in spite of a good ERA (2.61), as he could only post an 8/8 BB/K ratio, doing all of that work from August of 1981 until the end of the season, but no one would sign the then-39 year old Marshall for 1982, and he was done with baseball.

Marshall’s career numbers

Marshall eclipsed 90 games in three separate seasons, including an amazing 106 games in 1974 when he won the Cy Young award with the Dodgers, pitching 208 1/3 innings, all in relief. He threw more than 100 innings in relief 6 times (not including 1976 and 1978 when he had 99 1/3 and 99 innings).

Marshall led his league in appearances four times, in games finished five times. He led his league in saves three times, totaling 188 saves. He finished his 14-year career with 1,386 2/3 innings and a 3.14 ERA.

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As we get closer to opening day, we remember #54 by remembering one of the all-time great relievers in Mike Marshall.

We look forward to that first day of the season against Baltimore!